So, you’ve heard about all the benefits meditating gives you, but don’t know where to start?
Well, that was me a few short months ago. Now, I’m not saying that this post will answer all of your questions. In fact, you may well have even more questions once you’ve finished reading.
But, at least you’ll have a (hopefully) better understanding of where to look for the answers.
The problem with trying to identify a single meditation type for a beginner, is that they all help to achieve different things.
Almost all types of meditation have the same basic set up. So, we’ll cover that here.
But, because there are dozens, if not hundreds of different types of meditation available, the one that’ll be best for you will only be found from trial-and-error.
At the end of this post, I’ll point you in the direction of some other sites that’ll hopefully help you discover the type of meditation best for you. For now, let’s deal with the basics that apply to them all.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to meditate, whether it’s to improve your creativity, help you to reach a goal, reduce your stress, or make a spiritual connection, at the end of the day meditation is about quieting your mind.
Get the preparation right
So, at least in the beginning, make sure you find yourself somewhere relaxing, where you can shut out any distractions.
Close any windows, turn off the TV and also, be sure to tell anyone you live with, you don’t want to be disturbed for a while.
If that’s not possible, think about some noise-cancelling headphones. If you don’t want to listen to a guided meditation, you can always play some meditation music.
Some people find it helpful if they light a scented candle, or incense. Or, you could always use a bouquet of flowers. Good preparation will make a huge difference to your results in the beginning.
In tradition meditation, you would normally sit on a circular cushion know as a Zafu. Using one, allows you to sit on the floor, without getting too uncomfortable. But if you want to sit on the floor and don’t have a Zafu, you can use pillows, or normal cushions.
If you’re not as flexible as you’d like to be, by all means sit on a chair, or even lie on your bed. If you’re lying down though, it might be difficult to stay awake 🙂 , so that might not work for you.
If you’re going to use a chair, try to sit slightly forward, so you can keep your back straight and keep your feet flat on the floor.
If you’re sitting on the floor to meditate, there are loads of options to position your legs.
The traditional lotus position can be quite uncomfortable for beginners. Personally, I sit in the half-lotus position.
The difference between the two, is that in the half-lotus, your left leg is placed against your right thigh, instead of on top as in the full lotus position.
I believe it’s most important to be comfortable. You can’t properly concentrate on things like your breath, if your mind is constantly being pulled away by the aching in your legs.
You could always just sit cross-legged initially, then as you become more comfortable over time, move into a more recognized position.
Obviously, the images show the position when sitting on the floor and it’s more comfortable if your bottom is raised on a cushion. But whatever you decide…. be comfortable.
However you decide to sit, try to keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, but don’t slouch.
The many different types of meditation recommend different positions to place your hands. Initially, I wouldn’t worry too much, just place them in your lap if that’s comfortable.
Try to point your chin down a little, as though you’re looking at something on the floor about 4′ away.
Most images of meditation, show the eyes closed. You can do whatever is comfortable for you. Usually, it’s easier to concentrate if they’re closed, but if you find it easier with your eyes open, or even half-closed, that’s fine too.
Providing you’re able to, you should breath in and out through your nose when you’re meditating. But, remember not to clench your jaws, just let them relax.
In the beginning at least, it’s probably going to be best, if you use meditation to just concentrate on your breath. By focusing on your inhalations and exhalations, you’ll find that all thoughts from the outside world fall away on their own.
There are other simple meditations you can try, like the body scan, for example. Something like this will help you to practice moving your focus.
However you decide to do it, don’t get disheartened if it seems difficult at first. Like everything, it takes practice to get proficient.
The more you practice, the easier and more beneficial it’ll become.
If you have any questions you think I can help with, please let me know and I’ll do everything I can 🙂
- Find a quiet area to meditate in
- Do the preparation
- Get comfortable
- Keep your back straight and your head slightly down
- Meditate regularly
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if your mind wanders. It’s perfectly normal, so just bring your focus back when you notice it drifting.
- Meditation is a continuous process. You wouldn’t expect to visit a gym once, then be fit for life. Meditation is the same, practice at least 3 times per week if you can.
- It’s better to meditate for a few minutes every day, than for a long period, once per week.
Different Meditation Types:
- Live & Dare – This article identifies 23 different types of meditation with a brief explanation of each.
- HealthLine – This article explains six styles of meditation. Including, Mindful, Spiritual, Movement, etc.
Free Mediation Music:
This page will be updated regularly with further links and information.